Friday, May 6, 2016


Caught this 2015 documentary on PBS, originally called MY NAZI LEGACY, and found it mesmerizing. Documentarian David Evans follows Phillippe Sands—a human rights lawyer whose grandfather survived the Holocaust but lost eighty members of his family to the Nazis in Poland—as he travels to meet the aging sons of the two top Nazis in Poland during WWII.

One of the sons' father was the Nazi in charge of all Poland. When he was a boy, after the war ended, he saw the photographs of emaciated bodies piled high in Polish camps and denounced his father, who stood trial at Nuremberg and was sentenced to hang.

The other one—son of the Nazi in charge of an area of Poland where a hundred thousand Jews were murdered by Nazis, including Sands grandfather's family—struggles to defend his father as "an honorable man" just caught in the web of wartime violence (and who hid at the Vatican after the war to die there a few years later!).

It's enlightening and at times excruciating to see these two different reactions in the face of Sands' more and more relentless questioning and confronting, as all three men travel together to the sight of the mass murders and are questioned by an audience of the children of death camp survivors.

You would think there is nothing more to learn from the Holocaust, but this film proves otherwise.

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